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Software Library: ZZT

Tim Sweeney

ZZT is an ANSI character-based video game, created in 1991 by Tim Sweeney of Potomac Computer Systems which became Epic MegaGames in 1992. It remains a popular MS-DOS game creation system. ZZT itself is not an acronym for anything; its title was chosen so it would always appear at the bottom of newsgroup listings. It was later jokingly mentioned by Sweeney as being short for Zoo of Zero Tolerance, which has mistakenly become a popular belief.

Although visually outdated at the time of its release, ZZT became fairly popular because of its integration of an object-oriented scripting language known as ZZT-OOP. The language allowed community involvement that extended beyond simply creating level terrain with the built-in editor.

Originally ZZT was shareware, with only one of the four level-sets or "worlds" released without payment. The level released with the shareware copy is called "Town of ZZT". The shareware versions also included "Demo of ZZT", which displayed the basic features of ZZT worlds, and "Tour of ZZT", which allowed the player to view select rooms (some playable) of the four worlds. Three different versions of shareware ZZT were released, with three corresponding registered versions. With about 30,000 registrations worldwide, ZZT was successful enough to finance the production of Jill of the Jungle. As the game became obsolete it became freeware, however, with all four worlds of the registered version released for free. The worlds are: "Town of ZZT", "Caves of ZZT", "Dungeons of ZZT", and "City of ZZT".

In the newsletters for the registered version of ZZT, it is apparent that Sweeney initially had not expected the editor to become the most popular feature of his game. Fans' letters to him quickly established this, and Sweeney responded by encouraging registered users to make their own worlds and submit them to him. The best material from these was released in The Best of ZZT.

Gameplay of ZZT is very simple. The player is controlled by the four cursor keys, and the shift key and a cursor key pressed will shoot a bullet (if the player has ammo). Items that can be picked up include: ammo (each magazine holds five rounds), gems (used for currency in most games), torches (used by pressing the T key in darkened rooms, lighting a small area around the player, that moves as the player does), and energizers that give the player temporary invincibility. Enemies include lions (randomly moving monsters, that may follow the player), tigers (randomly moving monsters that fire bullets), ruffians (monsters that chase the player, then rest, then repeat), bears, slimes, and spinning guns.

Third-party worlds for ZZT are diverse, ranging from shoot 'em ups to complex role-playing video game to a Lemmings clone (Zem). Other games have been inspired by ZZT, such as MegaZeux and ZZT's sequel, Super ZZT, the latter being widely criticized for lacking an easily accessible editor function.

As of 2009, ZZT was still for sale through mail order, according to Sweeney in a Gamasutra interview. The last copy was distributed in late 2013.

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Software Library: ZZT
by Epic MegaGames, Inc.
software
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favorite 12
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Published by Epic MegaGames, Inc. Developed by Epic MegaGames, Inc. Released 1991 Official Site ZZT Platform DOS Genre Action Perspective Top-Down Theme Puzzle-Solving Misc Editor / Construction Set Description A text-mode action/puzzle game, ZZT already comes with a variety of game worlds. However, the real appeal of this game is the level editor with its scripting capability, which allows the creation of an unlimited number of new scenarios, stories, characters, traps, machines, and anything...
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Software Library: ZZT
by Robojim
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Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Darby Janssen
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eye 1,626
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: zalda README.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Country Games
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eye 1,267
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Arcade
Software Library: ZZT
by SAM VINCI
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comment 2
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: pokemonzzz.txt
favoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by bitbot
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eye 1,220
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the Super ZZT engine.
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Flimsy Parkins
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eye 1,174
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: FLIMTOWN.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by bucket
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: RE.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by cheezitman2001
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eye 1,152
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Mario PC.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure, Comedy
Software Library: ZZT
by Epic MegaGames, Inc.
software
eye 1,147
favorite 3
comment 0
Published by Epic MegaGames, Inc. Developed by Epic MegaGames, Inc. Released 1992 Platform DOS Genre Strategy Perspective Top-Down Theme Puzzle-Solving Description Super ZZT is the sequel to ZZT. There are five large game boards included with different puzzles and storylines. From Mobygames.com. Original Entry
Software Library: ZZT
by Tim Labonte
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: alin3d.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Nydark
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: dbz.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Comedy, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Gary Febbi
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Frgzzt.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Lil Pee Brain
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: roliereadme.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Side scroller
Software Library: ZZT
by Lynx & WiL
software
eye 924
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: PAC.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Arcade
Software Library: ZZT
by Ultima
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eye 908
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: ULTIMATXT.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG, Action, Puzzle
Software Library: ZZT
by Spock
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eye 899
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Terry Bates
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Readme.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Anarchy
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Quake Arena.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Multiplayer, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Lil Pee Brain
software
eye 862
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: RolieDemInfo.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Side scroller
Software Library: ZZT
by Nzenik
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Comedy
Software Library: ZZT
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Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by _God_
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Yeah.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by Bent
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by coolzx
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: piranha.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Arcade
Software Library: ZZT
by Daemon Lotos
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Mariorpg.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by bitbot
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favorite 1
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by Rasel Noor
software
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: wwf-tc_demo.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action, Shooter
Software Library: ZZT
by Hydra78
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eye 791
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: GLORY.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Justin G.
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Warcraftzzt.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Simulation, Strategy
Software Library: ZZT
by Jpasc123
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme files: gdzilupl.txt , How to play music and play the game.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Jeremy Kuehnau
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Upload.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by _ry0suke_
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: kiddy fun.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Acesound
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by John W. Wells
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: acelandm.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Michael Barash
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: SuperFrog.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Draco
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comment 0
Compilation of games created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: everything!.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Brian McFee
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Comedy
Software Library: ZZT
by Nemesis
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Pokemon1.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG, Adventure, Font
Software Library: ZZT
by Viovis Acropolis
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: c64xmas.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Blue*Ice
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by _God_
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Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Text_Stuff.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by Adam LaChapelle
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by DJ Furby
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: GENERAL.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Side scroller
Software Library: ZZT
by Teraptus13
software
eye 647
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: DUKEINFO.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Rasel Noor
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: paranoia.txt Readme file: paranoia.htm
Topics: ZZT games, Puzzle, Horror
Software Library: ZZT
software
eye 631
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comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by Rasel Noor
software
eye 620
favorite 1
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: simlife.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Simulation, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by David Newton
software
eye 614
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Castlzzt.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
software
eye 609
favorite 1
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by John W. Wells
software
eye 600
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Despmst.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Comedy, Horror
Software Library: ZZT
software
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favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: bobbuild.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure, Trippy
Software Library: ZZT
by Mrs. Clause
software
eye 597
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: la-info.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by MYoshiH
software
eye 590
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: upload(1).txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action, Adventure, Comedy
Software Library: ZZT
by Nixon
software
eye 589
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Diablo.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Shujj
software
eye 585
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: LION-KING.ZZT.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Side scroller, Demo
Software Library: ZZT
by DMSoft
software
eye 582
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: DMFONT.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Font
Software Library: ZZT
by Bill Meeks
software
eye 580
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: MARIO2.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by MyuuKNUX
software
eye 574
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: sonicdemo_readme.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure, Demo
Software Library: ZZT
by David Hetrick
software
eye 572
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine.
Topics: ZZT games, Action, Anti-Barney
Software Library: ZZT
by jakob_666
software
eye 569
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: bbath.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Horror, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Jacob Hammond
software
eye 565
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: scorched.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Strategy, Engine
Software Library: ZZT
by Fishfood
software
eye 562
favorite 1
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: FF.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by Chase Bramlage
software
eye 558
favorite 1
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: ffdisc1.txt
Topics: ZZT games, RPG
Software Library: ZZT
by Viovis Acropolis
software
eye 557
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: bubbutt.txt
Topics: ZZT games, 24hoZZT
Software Library: ZZT
by Insom
software
eye 552
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Winders.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by WiL
software
eye 548
favorite 0
comment 0
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
by Brain Bomber
software
eye 544
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: SonicZZT.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by Chris Kohler
software
eye 531
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: LEGENDS.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Arcade
Software Library: ZZT
by SNARFOOGLE
software
eye 529
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: jones.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Adventure
Software Library: ZZT
by T-800
software
eye 525
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: MARVEL VERSUS DC.txt
Topic: ZZT games
Software Library: ZZT
software
eye 520
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: X-MEN.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by ZZTMan5
software
eye 504
favorite 0
comment 0
Topics: ZZT games, Action
Software Library: ZZT
by kcnrogers
software
eye 503
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: Breakout!.txt
Topics: ZZT games, Arcade
Software Library: ZZT
by Matt Dabrowski
software
eye 498
favorite 0
comment 0
Game created using the ZZT engine. Readme file: BURGERJ.TXT
Topics: ZZT games, Simulation